I thought I’d share my opinions of last night’s Raw, which featured the fallout from Summerslam. For the most part I really enjoyed it. Things have been very exciting lately thanks to the Nexus.
This group has really made things unpredictable and exciting for the last few months, and last night they were the central focus of the show. It was good to finally see them all in individual action (aside from the one tag match) and I’m glad they got their heat back after losing the big match at Summerslam. People all over the IWC were whining and moaning after Summerslam that Nexus was over and completely lost all momentum. Really? From one match? One loss? After 3 months of looking completely dominant I don’t consider a single loss to be devastating.
Now I know some people are saying Nexus still looked weak last night. At the end of the night 6 out of 7 Nexus members had defeated members of the Raw roster in a series of 6 matches. That’s pretty impressive, no matter how you judge it. They weren’t all dominant wins? Did anyone really think they would be? That would be absurd. Lets look at the matches.
Wade Barrett vs Chris Jericho Very good, competitive match between former rookie and pro. A lot of high impact moves mixed with some nice submission holds. Both men looked strong for most of it, with Barrett picking up a very definitive clean win. So the Nexus leader starts the night for his group by defeating a former multi-time world champion in a very convincing fashion. Strong. Also, I think almost everyone has released by now that this Brit has a very bright future in this company. He speaks well, has the size, and can go in the ring. That’s a future world champ right there.
Michael Tarver vs Daniel Bryan Daniel Bryan is of course the hot topic right now after his shocking return at Summerslam. I’m very excited to see him back so soon, and obviously I’m not the only one. People try to say only the internet fans are into the guy, but listen to the crowd chant his name and look at all those signs. Clearly he’s connected with a larger audience than people give him credit for.
So he’s back, and of course many people are only interested in seeing him in this match. That’s fine. So most of the match we see him delivering his unique offense and Tarver getting a few shots in here and there. Then the Miz and Alex Reilly come out to distract Bryan, letting Tarver pick up the win with a surprise roll up from behind. Afterwards Bryan gets his revenge on all 3 mean for a few moments until the numbers catch up to him and he is beaten down, mostly by the Miz. Despite not getting a lot of offense in I think Tarver still came off as looking strong. He out powered Bryan several times in the match and was smart enough to take advantage of the situation to get the win. Honestly, it would have been idiotic for Bryan to return and not showcase him in his first televised match back. The aftermath with the Miz was good too as it sets up their expected feud.
Hard to talk about this match without mentioning Michael Cole. He is awful and has become incredibly distracting. He’s always been a bad announcer, but he is getting so much worse as he tries to develop his heel persona. It was baffling when it started on NXT, but now it’s just obnoxious on Raw. Whether he’s absurdly trying to bash Daniel Bryan for being a nerd, nonsensically singing the praises of the Miz, making fun of rookies on NXT, picking fights with Josh Mathews, joking around with the King on WWE Superstars instead of calling the matches, or reading emails from the mystery GM, he just sucks. He is taking away from the in ring product. I watch wrestling to see athletes perform, not to hear some little chode spout off and try to pretend he’s a tough guy. Hearing him do this next to Jerry Lawler is pretty funny, as the King doesn’t let him get away with as much as Mathews…and I’m just waiting for him to lose it and openly mock Cole, maybe even slug him!
Justin Gabriel vs Bret Hart Randy Orton This last minute substitution of Orton for Hart was really annoying. I actually wanted to see Hart in the ring after reading that he wasn’t too bad at Summerslam. I don’t know why people are suddenly so into Orton and cheering him as a face. He still does all his heel stuff. He’s still boring. His promos aren’t good, his in ring style is slow and plodding, his mannerisms are way too over the top, the guy’s still a dick behind the scenes with a temper problem. People hate Cena for being booked to strong, look at Orton for the last several months.
Anyway…this match was all Orton, and did in fact make Gabriel look weak as Orton no sold his offense and out wrestled him. This was the only match of the night that really bothered me. Gabriel got the win after Orton fought with Sheamus on the outside and got counted out. That didn’t make sense by the way, as Gabriel should have been disqualified the second Sheamus hit Orton, but they needed Gabriel to win so they didn’t acknowledge that. After the match Orton continued to look like Superman and beat up Shaemus and Gabriel. At least Gabriel has looked very strong in the past, so maybe this won’t totally destroy him.
Skip Sheffield and David Otunga vs. R-Truth and John Morrison So suddenly with no explanation we have a tag match in what was billed as only singles contests. Why? I think the real reason is because David Otunga is too green to have a proper singles match on live TV, yet they don’t want to take him out of the group as he gives them celebrity name value. No reason was given on TV. This was a decent little match and continued to put Sheffield over as a monster and make the Nexus look good.
Edge vs Heath Slater This was a good match that made both men look strong and Slater look smart. I don’t think the post match spear hurt him any. He wrestled better here than a lot of people like to admit. He’s good in the ring, hopefully he’ll continue to improve on the mic. I do hate his face though.
Darren Young vs John Cena Darren Young looked good by requesting to face Cena to get some revenge for his beat down last month. So we got Black Cena vs White Cena in the main event, and I’m very surprised with how the match played out. Young dominated most of it! He looked good while doing it too. In the end Cena won and Darren Young was kicked out of Nexus while being beat down by his former gang. This night made Young look strong, and it will be interesting to see what happens to him now. Will he still be part of Raw or go back to FCW? Hopefully he’ll stick around, as I think that could be interesting.
Young’s exile also made the Nexus look strong, as they looked like they weeded out the weak link of the group. Will they stay at 6? A smaller Nexus could be good, as it would be easier to manage. There’s also the possibility they could take on more members, losers from NXT season 2 or traitors from the WWE.
Whatever happens, the Nexus are making things interesting.